Today we visited the Martin Parr exhibition ("Only Human") at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
I thoroughly enjoyed his lighthearted, amusing look at the British (or, perhaps more specifically, the English) and our way of life. When I first came across Parr's work, I didn't particularly enjoy his style of very saturated, heavily lit (often with flash) photography, but having seen some of his early monochrome work in the north of England (at another exhibition a couple of years ago), and now this exhibition of quite recent work, I am definitely warming to him. However, my wife felt that he was a little lazy, repeatedly showing British/English stereotypes rather than a true portrait of us and still producing images in the same style as some of his earlier work. We did think that the problem may be over-familiarity with his style; Parr does seem to be somewhat ubiquitous at the moment, appearing in many exhibitions as well as opening his own foundation in Bristol.
The exhibition was well laid out, however, with decorations to emphasise the rather brash, nationalistic scenes in his images. There were Union Jack flags decorating the halls, a glitter ball in the room of photographs of people dancing and colourful "pile them high, sell them cheap" signs in the exhibition shop echoing similar signs in his photographs.
My blip was taken in a section of the exhibition about ex-pat Brits and the way they maintain what they believe to be British traditions. While this is probably not my best photograph of the day, I did like the way the lady was imitating the people in the image on the wall - who were singing "Jerusalem" at an England v Sri Lanka match in Sri Lanka.
Back blipped: I have a bit of catching up to do!